McDonald’s has appointed Publicis Groupe media agency Starcom to be its lead national media agency for the U.S. business, the fast-food giant has confirmed.
The shift is taking place without a formal review.
Omnicom's OMD, the incumbent on the assignment, will continue to support McDonald’s USA locally and in other international markets via existing relationships.
The move marks a significant expansion of the brand’s relationship with Publicis, adding national media buying and planning to its current scope of work, which includes customer data analytics and digital marketing across McDonald’s app, website and CRM channels.
McDonald’s said the shift is designed in part to support a heightened focus on platforms that resonate with a new generation of customers, particularly digital.
One example is the fast-food chain’s launch in 2021 of its MyMcDonald’s Rewards program, which to date has garnered 21 million enrollments.
The move follows five consecutive quarters of sales growth in the U.S. which the company asserted was partly driven by greater investment and innovation in the digital space.
Agency research firm COMvergence estimates that McDonald’s spends an estimated $765 million annually on media expenditures in the U.S., of which about $270 million is digital.
“Since we started working with Publicis last year, they have demonstrated a deep understanding of McDonald's consumers, real clout in the digital marketplace and a proven track record of innovating toward our digital ambitions,” stated Tariq Hassan, Chief Marketing and Digital Customer Experience Officer for McDonald’s USA. “They are the right team to help McDonald’s maximize our marketing investments, both in the near-term and as we look to the future. We're grateful to OMD USA for their many years of partnership and helping us reach the position of strength the brand is enjoying today.”
Starcom will join sibling agencies Epsilon and Sapient on the McDonald’s agency roster.
The transition begins this month and will be completed by the end of the first quarter.